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    November 2014 - Featured Milsurp Library Entry of the Month

    No.4 Canadian Lightweight Experimental Rifle
    (Serial #J5550-12 mfg by Long Branch in Canada)


    [Click PIC to Enlarge)

    [Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Caliber: ....................... .303 in., Mk VII Ammo
    Rifling & Twist: .............. 5 groove, Enfield, Left Hand Twist
    Barrel Length: ............... 22.8 in (579 mm)
    Overall Length: ............. 42.1 in (1077 mm)
    Weight: ........................ 6 lb. 9 oz. (3.0 kg) (unloaded)
    Magazine Capacity: ....... 10 rounds (magazine loaded)
    Qty Mfg: ....................... Estimated at 50

    Source: ........................ The Lee-Enfield Story by Ian Skennerton (1993) - ISBN: 185367138X

    Canadian Market Value Estimate: $


    No.4 Canadian Lightweight Experimental Rifle

    (40 picture virtual tour)

    Observations: courtesy of Jay Currah and his excellent web site The Lee Enfield Rife (click here).
    Note: Pictures provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member and owner of this rifle, Robert "pazv54re" Knox

    By 1944, as the war in Europe began to move in favor of the allies, thoughts began to turn to the ongoing conflict in the Pacific. It was apparent that, do to the climate and terrain, a shorter and lighter rifle would be required. Following RSAF Enfield in England and Lithgow in Australia, Canada at the Long Branch Small Arms Factory began trials and tests on a weight reduced version of the No4 rifle.

    Each factory designed its own unique concept of a modified rifle. RSAF Enfield proceeded with a new rifle similar to the No4 which in the end became known as the No5 Rifle. Lithgow followed a path that would convert No1 Rifles into a shortened version, eventually known as the No6 Rifle. Longbranch moved to convert No4 rifles.

    When examining Long Branch’s version of the Jungle Carbine it is plainly obvious that little of the basic No4 rifle was left untouched in the drawing room. The result incorporated several desirable modifications to the basic No4 and also included several desirable features of the almost forgotten P-14 rifle.

    Lightening modifications included shortening and lightening of the barrel, milling of the receiver, lightening the bolt and trigger guard. The stock was lightened by including finger grooves to both the fore-end and rear hand guard, while the butt was deeply milled out.

    The front sight was redesigned to resemble that which is found on the P-14; while the rear sight was to be a stamped steel 100-800 yard flip sight similar to the MkIII sight designed for the No4 Rifle (the images provided on this page illustrate a T model micrometer sight).

    Other modifications included bending the bolt handle slightly forward and the removal of the buttsocket. This change facilitated the incorporation of a one piece fore-end (like the P-14) and the hanging of the trigger from the receiver as opposed to the trigger guard (this modification would eventually become the basis for the No4 MkI/2 and I/3 conversions and the No4 Mk2 rifle). To compensate for the removal of the buttsocket a large stock bolt was added to the fore-end in the same location. Finally for the magnified recoil a commercial style rubber kick pad was added to the butt.

    Though the Canadian Lightened and Shortened No4 appeared to have the makings of a very capable rifle, the war in the Pacific ended. Further trials and production was ordered halted by the government, in the end only about 50 of these rifles were ever built certainly putting them just about on top of the rare list for “collectability”.

    As these rifles were only ever in the test trials stages of development, markings are very minimal. Each rifle should display on its receiver ring the drawing number J5550 followed by the rifles serial number 1 thru 50, this number will be also found on the bolt. These markings will be the only ones specific to the trials rifle, though other stamps may be found on them.



    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. Additional captioning of pics shown in the detailed photo montage, kindly provided by MILSURPS.COM moderator claven2. .......... (Feedback by "Badger")


    2. Here is a second No.4 Canadian Lightweight Experimental Rifle owned by member burnt45 (click here). .......... (Feedback by "Badger")

    [Click PIC to Enlarge)

    [Click PIC to Enlarge)

    No.4 Canadian Lightweight Experimental Rifle

    (16 picture virtual tour)
    Rifle owned by burnt45 (click here)

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