Dating lee enfield rifle

Many Lee-Enfields of early production runs were later modified to accept the. While the Cold War was in full swing, a move among NATO and her supporting countries brought about the standardized 7. Thusly, Lee-Enfield rifles were now converted as experimental rifles to fire this new ammunition. Trials for the gun were not enough to impress the British military to upgrade their existing supply of Lee-Enfields, but the Indian company of Ishapore did eventually produce 7.

Ishapore rifle production began in and continued through , though their operational use has continued beyond that span.

Markings on Lee Enfield Rifles

The official cartridge designation remained the 7. The rifle had a muzzle velocity of 2, feet per second and fired from a round detachable box magazine featuring 5-round stripper clips. Sights amounted to a fixed-front post-type sight and a sliding ramp rear sight.

Lee Enfield SMLE MKIII

Overall, various manufacturers handled production of the various Lee-Enfield rifles. Where applicable, the appearance of U.

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SARCO and SOG among others are also marketing these or similar rifles for comparable prices, again with fair--or at least technically honest--advertising. The problem arises when these aftermarket replicas pass through several hands and wind up offered for sale at a gun show or in a pawn shop. Typically, the advertising such as it was gets lost, the price gets jacked up, and the seller claims maybe because he believes it that the piece really is a long-lost treasure.

A lot of people are getting burned by these knock-offs, and an even greater number are just plain confused. Watch out for these! It is possible though not likely that some Lithgow-manufactured rifles with late or later dates were kept in storage and subsequently surplused out in unfired or unissued condition.

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Neither the nose cap nor the bottom of the backsight leaf will carry a different serial number on these rifles. These plates will be attached with small brass wood screws. This was the height of the war, and virtually all rifles manufactured were issued. If you find different serial numbers on different parts, this is clear evidence that it is a parts gun.

And if the recoil plates are missing, it is not only a parts gun--it could be dangerous to shoot. These are probably either aftermarket modifications or outright fakes.

Dating Lee Enfield Rifle

The Australian government did experiment with a shortened and lightened No. These have grooved fore-ends, lightening flutes on the barrel knox forms, and extensive lightening cuts on the receivers. Also, the Lithgow factory prototypes all have aperture backsights mounted on the charger bridge and solid handguards. Some unofficial experimenting was done by a number of unit armourers during WWII in an attempt to create a shortened and lightened version of the No.

The barrels were shortened, and the nose caps were reset, but most retained the barrel-mounted tangent sights. The easiest way to tell a recent replica from a WWII-vintage experimental model is to remove the nose cap.

So one can but only surmise that proof marks bearing crowns would also share variations. George Rex , note again a variation in the style of crown for this monarch. Export Marks Now this may well be one of the more common set of stamps. A set of information marks, that were stamped onto the rifle when sold out of service. This mark may be found on various part of the rifle including woodwork.

No.4 Mk1 Date and serial questions - - Page 1

This particular stamp was on a No5 other marks may be more sweeping in their appearance. Emergency Use only could be due many reasons, barrel wear etc through to nothing wrong with it like a P14 fatboy, just not enough to be put into normal use and held back for emergency use only. I need to do more research as I expected the B to be directly under the crown.

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  8. George Rex Proof done at time of assembly or just after firing final inspection. Victoria Regina Monarch Cypher 2nd Proof. The factory went on to make Vickers and other weapons. Inspectors Mark Lithgow Factory Australia. I think it was from a No5. Draw lapped Barrel , this particular marking is from a No5Mk1.