Enfield-Rifles.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Enfields > Enfield Rifles
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Question on #'s.
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Question on #'s.

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message Reverse Sort Order
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 10423
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Question on #'s.
    Posted: January 27 2020 at 5:12pm
looks like you both chimed in perfectly , and answered the OP questions far better than i could have , 

i get that an "original rifle" might vary from one period to the next and that markings were not always in all places as noted , i have a BSA that is all matching - not force matched after refurb , its not marked in every location that one of my longbranch all matchings are , thats why i suggested an ausie that collects lithgows respond , i dont own a lithgow - never found the right one that tripped my trigger and opened my wallet , 
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
BJ72 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie
Avatar

Joined: August 24 2019
Location: Qld Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 33
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BJ72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 5:58pm
Looks like Homer and I were replying at the same time Big smile
My idea of gun control is hitting what I aim at and nothing else.
Back to Top
BJ72 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie
Avatar

Joined: August 24 2019
Location: Qld Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 33
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BJ72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 5:53pm
Honkytonk

Since your rifle was originally made by Lithgow (That's in Australia folks) I'll give you a bit of a summary in relation to their serial number markings.

Production was never disrupted by bombing or the like in either world war. The enemy never got close enough to Lithgow. With the help of our American friends (and a few others) we chased them off Clap

Early Lithgow made SMLE rifles were serial numbered throughout. The serial number was applied to the bolt, receiver, barrel, underside of the forend, nose cap, under the rear sight and in some in very early rifles, the rear sight base and the rear stock. The bayonet was also serial numbered to the rifle.

This changed in WW2 and by the end of the war the serial number was only applied to the bolt, receiver, underside of forend and and the nose cap. They also stopped putting serial numbers on the bayonets, That's for new rifles as they left the factory.

In the mid to late 40's, Lithgow also ran a refurbishment program where rifles were rebuilt. These refurbished rifles normally only had the serial number applied to the bolt and receiver. The rest of the components were unnumbered. They will be marked on the butt with the year and date they were rebuilt, such as R over MA 11/45 for a rifle rebuilt in November 1945.

Then from around 1950 on, Lithgow ran their FTR (factory thorough refurbished) program. These rifles were totally rebuilt and brought up to new rifles specs. Serial number application seems to vary a bit with these. They will always have matching bolts and receivers. The nose cap and the underside of the forend is usually numbered as well. Some had the serial number on the barrel and others didn't. These rifles are stamped FTR on the receiver. The year they went through FTR is also stamped on the left side of the receiver just above the trigger guard. Example, MA/50 for a rifle refurbished in 1950.

You will also find English SMLE rifles that went through both rebuild processed in Australia as a lot of English rifles ended up in Australian hands during both wars.

If you have an early Lithgow SMLE, it may well have ended up in English hands and may have been rebuilt by the English at some point. At the outbreak of WW1, Australia sent any rifles we could spare to England to assist.

All early Lithgow rifles were completely made and assembled at Lithgow. During WW2 production of components took place at various feeder factories and the components will be stamped accordingly. WA- Wellington feeder factory, BA - Bathurst feeder factory, FA - Forbes feeder factory, SLAZ - Slazenger wood workd etc.

By the end of WW2 production and assembly of the SMLE had been moved from Lithgow to the Orange (name of the town) rifle factory. Despite the fact the rifles were assembled in a totally different location, for some reason we still refer to them as Lithgow rifles. Probably because they were still stamped MA Lithgow. At the end of WW2, refurbishment and FTR of the SMLE took place back at Lithgow.

Magazines were never serial numbered on any Lithgow made SMLE's.

Soo...., to answer your original question, when do you consider a Lithgow SMLE all matching? It depends on when it was made or refurbished.

For me, the main thing for a rifle we intend to shoot is a matching bolt and receiver. If they don't match, we then need to start looking at the locking lug bearing surfaces to make sure they are both bearing evenly.

Hopefully that might help you understand your rifles history a bit better.
My idea of gun control is hitting what I aim at and nothing else.
Back to Top
Homer View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: January 01 2013
Location: Brisbane
Status: Offline
Points: 506
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Homer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 5:49pm
No I think the OP’s question was what constitutes a matching Enfield. But for the record, the 1919 Lithgow was originally numbered from the factory, action, bolt, barrel, sight, nosecap and forwood. Definitely not the magazine and possibly the butt at state/unit level. Much later in WW2 barrels and sights weren’t numbered. But if all these numbers aren’t matching on a 1919 Lithgow that’s presumed to be original, it’s not matching. However, if the rifles been through a repair or a refurb of some kind, it may not have had the same parts numbered. For example, if it had undergone a refurb early post WW2 and marked on the butt R over MA over month/45/46/47, very possibly only the bolt and action will match. Barrels, sights, nosecaps and wood were left blank. Those that have a deeper understanding of the Australian service lee Enfield will have a better idea determining what’s correct and what’s not.
Back to Top
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 10423
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 4:52pm
i gotta agree that OPs rifle is not a dispersal or peddled scheme - he stated it was a lithgow in first post , he wanted to know what parts were numbered on an original lithgow in that time period i think , i will defer to those that know lithgows 

all of this is great info for those that didnt know tho , 
Back to Top
paddyofurniture View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 26 2011
Location: NC
Status: Offline
Points: 3731
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 4:18pm
Originally posted by Honkytonk Honkytonk wrote:

Again... my ignorance. I'm not sure my Lithgow 1919 No1 MkIII's production was disrupted by the Luftwaffe. 

It was the German air force with Zeplins.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
Back to Top
Honkytonk View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 30 2017
Location: Brandon Mb
Status: Offline
Points: 2965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 3:22pm
Again... my ignorance. I'm not sure my Lithgow 1919 No1 MkIII's production was disrupted by the Luftwaffe. 
Back to Top
Goosic View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 12 2017
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Status: Online
Points: 3608
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 11:36am
For me,a Peddled Scheme or a dispersal rifle or both hold a much higher value to me for what was involved in getting them up and running. I like mutts...
Back to Top
The Armourer View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: June 23 2019
Location: England
Status: Offline
Points: 432
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 11:30am
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

That's more like an FTR!
Dispersal rifles had parts made new in several small factories with experience in that kind of manufacturing. Scale makers made sights & so on.
The finished parts went to the central factory to be built into complete new rifles.
It was done this way to prevent disruption to manufacture because of say a bombing raid damaging the one factory that was making the entire gun.


What you are describing there is the 'Peddled Scheme' (as used by SSA).
This scheme used a variety of different (independent) companies to make 'bits' within their capabilities, the barrel and action being made by SSA then SSA assembled the parts into a rifle.

The "Dispersal Scheme" was simply the component manufacturing was all based in factories owned by BSA but the quality was pretty poor as many of the extra employees were just 'drafted in' women who had no firearms or engineering experience.
Back to Top
The Armourer View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: June 23 2019
Location: England
Status: Offline
Points: 432
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 11:24am
Originally posted by Honkytonk Honkytonk wrote:

So is a dispersal rifle considered as good as a single factory rifle? Or am I missing the point again! Thanks! Be patient, Im learning!


I have previously used the term 'mongrel' which is a commonly used word in the UK, but apparently has very strong negative connotations in the US

I wouldn't rate them as being a 'quality' rifle being built up from any parts that could be found lying in old boxes, under the carpet etc.

Up until 1940, BSA made normal high-quality No1 MkIII* on limited military contracts, marked with the usual Crown and BSA&Co, as well as identical rifles just marked "BSA&Co" for commercial sale and export.
With the invasion scare, the Ministry of Supply ordered BSA to make rifles out of whatever parts it could get together. Hence the rifles were made of mixtures of commercial and military parts, mixed walnut and beech wood (or all-beech), later on No4 butts and firing pin/cocking pieces. A second wave of production in 1945 even used recycled and re-dated receivers.
About the same time the emergency rifle production was started, BSA was ordered to disperse its many Birmingham factories away from the bomb-target central area, and also to increase war production by diluting experienced staff with war staff. BSA was a huge engineering group, and this "Dispersal" programme led to 70 seperate factories being set up, moved and/or expanded. Rifle production involved several of these factories (both No1s and No4s), and this type of "all available parts" No1 has become known as a "Dispersal rifle". Technically, even the No4s were Dispersals, as well as motorbikes, bicycles, aircraft parts, machine guns and heavy weaponry...
BSA marked these rifles with just the first "B" of BSA&Co. Presumably this was to dissociate the company from these slightly less-than top quality peacetime rifles!

Back to Top
englishman_ca View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 08 2009
Location: Almaguin
Status: Offline
Points: 1051
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 10:42am
The Luftwaffe was disrupting manufacturing at the factory.

The term dispersal comes from the manufacturing of components being dispersed around the country to many small (and not so small) sub contractors.

BSA was the assembler of all the parts into rifles. Some say the B letter on the wrist is for BSA.
I am more on the thinking that the rifle was intended to be generic with no maker shown. 

The B actually denotes a Birmingham assembled rifle.  

The dispersal rifles were assembled using new and used parts. Even some receivers were scrubbed and recycled. Nothing new about this, if a used part gauged within limits, it went back into the bins. If it had serial numbers, such as a sight leaf, the old numbers would be struck out and new numbers applied.

The completed rifles were gauged to the same tolerances as those of regular production. Standards were not dropped. Allowances for finish were made, but only cosmetic with tooling marks and such. But a dispersal rifle was made to factory standards. It is not a second rate rifle.

 
.
.
Look to your front, mark your target when it comes!
Back to Top
Honkytonk View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 30 2017
Location: Brandon Mb
Status: Offline
Points: 2965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 10:33am
So is a dispersal rifle considered as good as a single factory rifle? Or am I missing the point again! Thanks! Be patient, Im learning!
Back to Top
Shamu View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Logo Designer / Donating Member

Joined: April 25 2007
Location: MD, USA.
Status: Offline
Points: 12024
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 8:50am
That's more like an FTR!
Dispersal rifles had parts made new in several small factories with experience in that kind of manufacturing. Scale makers made sights & so on.
The finished parts went to the central factory to be built into complete new rifles.
It was done this way to prevent disruption to manufacture because of say a bombing raid damaging the one factory that was making the entire gun.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
Back to Top
Honkytonk View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 30 2017
Location: Brandon Mb
Status: Offline
Points: 2965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 8:39am
I read some posts on dispersal rifles, but admit, I'm not quite sure I understand. Please correct my definition;
-Used rifle comes in to armourer
- Armourer checks, decides rifle is unfit for service
- Worn parts are replaced, rifle brought up to spec
- The action, bolt, sights are all restamped with a matching new serial number

Am I close?
Back to Top
Goosic View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 12 2017
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Status: Online
Points: 3608
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 6:58am
...so,in affect, it could be a dispersal rifle?...
Back to Top
Honkytonk View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 30 2017
Location: Brandon Mb
Status: Offline
Points: 2965
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 5:44am
I had removed the rear windage adjustable site and retained. This was because I mounted a P-H apature rear site. I checked the site I had removed and that number does not match the receiver, nose cap and bolt.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.