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1953 SMLE Mk3 Lithgow

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Alex6449 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 22 2021 at 6:07am
he!!o everyone,

I've been wanting to collect WWI and WWII era weapons for some time, and I started my collection just before COVID hit by picking up an Enfield that happened to be sold to my local gun shop by the estate of someone who passed away.  I went and picked it up for $600, which seemed to be just below the going price at the time.  I decided to research the rifle a bit and discovered it looks to be one of the rare 53s.  My goal is to collect a bunch of the WWI/II weapons used by infantry soldiers, so any Enfield would really do.  I'm thinking of offloading this to more of a collector who can appreciate the rifle more than I can.  I know these are hard to price, but I was hoping some of you experts might have seen some sales prices recently?  Or can try to give me more information on the rifle through the pics posted?  Looks to be number matching as well.  I can take different pics if needed.
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Bear43 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2021 at 5:13am
To even give an estimate we need a lot more pictures and info. Do the serial numbers all match? What is the barrel date? Does the bolt and receiver assembly numbers match? What is the bore condition? This is all vital information.
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A square 10 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2021 at 9:54pm
looks like someone had a stacking swivel on it at one time or another - at least the forearm 
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Marco1010 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2021 at 10:33pm
The reinforcing band on the rear of the forewood is what is normally on a No4 Mk 2 rifle, so a bit out of place on a No 1 Mk 3.  The 1953 date is a bit concerning too, possibly an assembled from new parts rifle.
Even JJ Co. special ?????   Don't want to put a downer on it, but definitely needs more investigation.
Otherwise a nice looking rifle.
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Zed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2021 at 12:34am
Yes Marco, the rear strengthing band is from a No4, but a No4Mk1. The MK2 has a small bolt instead, due to the change in the trigger assembly. 
The first photo appears to show an "Ishy" screw through the fore end. So maybe these are repairs for a crack.

I don't see a JJCo stamp on the right side of the bolt rail, but more photos would help to be sure. 
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 Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2021 at 5:05am
Zed, India used fore-ends for the No 1 rifles like that. That's all it is, an Indian fore-end. It could have been done in service but I'm not sure on that. The butt has been replaced too, and not properly fitted as that gap between the shoulder on the wrist and the actual wrist is way too much. Also, this is NOT a Jovino put-together. Those rifles all had an A suffix to the serial number. To me it looks like it could be a sporter restore but we need a lot more pictures to figure that out for sure.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SGonger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2021 at 10:17am
Howdy all;the (53 F & S/N) does fall into the Lithgow 1K machinery trials  batch that took place between 53-56.
S/N F39581-F40580. For reference.
Cheer’s.
Anyone seen the Tardis Box anywhere? 🤨
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MJ11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2021 at 5:25pm
Originally posted by Marco1010 Marco1010 wrote:

The reinforcing band on the rear of the forewood is what is normally on a No4 Mk 2 rifle, so a bit out of place on a No 1 Mk 3.  The 1953 date is a bit concerning too, possibly an assembled from new parts rifle.
Even JJ Co. special ?????   Don't want to put a downer on it, but definitely needs more investigation.
Otherwise a nice looking rifle.


Marco1010 why is that a bummer ? These rifles especialy the E prefix are coming into their own as collectors  items. In the last month I have seen two in the $1.2 and $1.5 price range and a few rougher ones all in the $800 asking price. A crate of ten sold during COVID in Los Angeles for $15K. A collector in the UK I have been dealing with and shooting with for 20 years has a standing request for as many un-issued ones as I can find him after I declined to send him mine. Now I can't find one under $750 well used.




I await your reply and pinions.

Thank you.

..MJ..


The Spartans do not ask how many the enemies are but where they are
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Marco1010 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2021 at 11:16pm
Sorry MJ11, I didn't mean to give too negative a slant on the JJ CO. aspect.
Yes some of them are parts rifles and not too well put together, but as you pointed out some are excellent.  My point was that on the face of the info presented, it looked to be possible it was a reassembled from parts situation, but needed further investigation.  I would love to find its not the case so the owner can be happy with the rifle.
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