(Mfg by BSA Shirley - M47c)
c/w matching Model No.32 Mk.3 Scope (Mfg by Taylor-Hobson & Co.)
(Click PIC to Enlarge)
Caliber: ....................... .303 in.
Rifling & Twist: ............. 5 Groove, Enfield, Left Hand
Barrel Length: .............. 25.2 in. (640mm)
Overall Length: ............ 44.5 in. (1130mm)
Weight: ....................... 11 lb. 10 oz. (5.3kg)
Magazine Capacity: ...... 10 rounds
Rifle Converted: ............ by Holland & Holland (S51) & B.S.A. Guns Ltd.
Rifle approval date: ....... February 12th, 1942
Scope: ......................... TEL. SGT. No.32 Mk III O.S. 2039 A (Mfg by Taylor-Hobson & Co.)
Scope approval date: .... October 7th, 1944 (Mk III)
Qty Mfg: ....................... 23,177 (Production from Sept. 22nd,1942 - March 21st, 1946 as calculated by Peter Laidler)
Source: .... The British Sniper by Ian Skennerton (1983) - ISBN: 0949749036
Source: .... The Lee Enfield by Ian Skennerton (2007) - ISBN: 9780949749826
Source: ......... An Armorer's Perspective: .303 No.4(T) Sniper Rifle by Peter Laidler & Ian Skennerton (1993) - ISBN: 0949749176
Canadian Market Value Estimate: $
1944 Enfield No.4 Mk1(T) Sniper Rifle
(130 picture virtual tour)
Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member ~Angel~.
With the advent of modern third party reproductions of various No.4(T) components, collectors need to be increasingly aware of what an "all correct" period No.4(T) sniper rifle should look like. Reproduced below is a partial extract of an excellent general article on the subject, by a one of our members, Terry "maple_leaf_eh" Warner.
Spotting a Fake No.4(T) Sniper Rifle ...... by Terry "maple_leaf_eh" Warner
Besides looking for both ‘T’ and ‘TR’, one very simple test is to examine the screw heads on the pads. Staking the end of the slot with a pin punch is an uncomplicated way to lock a screw head, and was listed in the armourer’s orders in March 1946. More than one stake per screw head, indicates the pad has been removed or replaced, either for repair or overhaul. A single stake mark suggests a rifle is newly converted, was not used very much, or left British service prior to 1946. The front pad takes the worst beating of the two.
To summarize Laidler, the first guideline is to examine the left side of the receiver. Read the model number. All British and Savage-made sniper rifles were built on No.4 Mk1 actions (“number four mark one”). Only wartime dated Long Branch No.4 Mk1* (“number four mark one star”) receivers were converted to sniper rifles. If a rifle from two British plants was more accurate than average, it was set aside for No.4(T) conversion. Birmingham Small Arms’ plant in Shirley stamped their ‘M47C’ on the butt socket. Royal Ordnance Factory in Maltby stamped ‘ROFM’ ‘RM’ or ‘M’ on the sidewall or on the butt socket. The serial number ranges are listed in Stratton.
There was a continual reduction of sniper rifles in British service after 1945 until the 1960’s. Those unsuited for upgrade programs or surplus were sold off. Remaining rifles were converted to L42 rifles in 7.62 NATO. Therefore, a British rifle has a storybook of markings establishing its history. Canadian issued rifles usually do not have the characteristic British speckling of stamps and punches. The collector must educate himself on the nuances of each stamp and punch. They are not random, but tell a lengthy and detailed story beyond the intent of this article.
Still following Laidler, the second guideline is to look for a large ‘TR’ stamped on the left of the butt socket and a letter ‘T’ on the flat of the left receiver sidewall after the model number. The fonts are distinctive. The ‘TR’ was applied by inspectors at the plant to indicate the rifle grouped better than others. It was segregated and shipped to Holland and Holland. The new arrivals were inspected again, and those that met a higher standard were converted. Some rejected ‘TR’ rifles may be in circulation without other sniper marks. The ‘T’ signified a No.32 telescope had been fitted, and the combination met all inspections. Without a ‘T’ marking, the rifle could not have been converted at Holland and Holland or Long Branch, except for defined batches of rifles converted before the marking procedures were settled.
The third guideline is to look for a ¼ inch ‘S51’ stamped on the bottom of the handgrip of the butt stock. This is unique to Holland and Holland. The standard length butt was a Normal marked with a letter ‘N’ on the top near the butt plate. There will be a check rest with a scalloped front end screwed to the comb. There are some variations in the finished shape and centering of the cheek rest. Some rifles have it more upright while others tend to have the rest rolled to either side. Unbuggered screw heads on slotted screws are an encouraging sign. Look for a stamped telescope number on the front edge of the butt, just before butt socket. If possible (but I strongly advise against amateurs touching any tool to a collectable rifle), unscrew the butt and look on the wood for the rifle serial number just in front of the scope number.
Look at the stock, look for a screw from one side of the wood to the other just in front of the receiver ring. This is the dreaded Ishapore screw. The Indians modified every No.4 rifle they found with this strengthening screw. Nobody else worried about such things. Although, India did use unknown numbers of No.4(T) rifles, but the references give no indication of Indian markings.
Look on the front right side of the receiver just behind the receiver ring. A genuine Holland and Holland conversion will have a 1/8 inch letter ‘S’ close to the wood line. I cannot comment if Long Branch is marked as such.
If there is an angular sling swivel on the takedown screw in front of the magazine, this is a sign, A) the rifle was either produced after September 1944, B) it left British military sometime near then, or C) someone has ‘improved’ the rifle. A considerable number of civilian Parker Hale target shooting swivels change hands on the internet, regardless of appropriateness for the year of No.4(T) production.
Look at the sights. Are both surfaces on the front sight blade, which face the shooter, undercut? Apparently some snipers found the normal slope reflected back on their eyes. I wouldn’t worry if it is not there. It may be a peculiarity of British unit-level conversions. The back sight should be the machined early Mk.I style, without the 90 degree battle sight. It should be completely black with no exposed metal surfaces. One sign the rifle has been used by someone knowledgeable will be if the underside is rounded out. Smart armourers made this modification (without permission) so their sniper comrades could remove the rifle bolt without removing the scope and flipping up the back sight.
The next to last item(s) are the accessories according to the equipment checklists. Every well-dressed No.4(T) has: a No.15 wooden transport chest; a No.8 scope case and leather strap or No.8 MK.2 rubberized canvas sleeve; a canvas protective case that is too small for a rifle with scope; a Scout Regiment ‘pirate-style’ draw tube telescope; a small tin cleaning kit; and a World War I dated American M1907 leather sling. Each item is a study in itself. Generally speaking, collectors look for matching numbers to their rifle and telescope, and for example, a Broad Arrow on the sling. Any No.8 case or sleeve, and surprisingly the can’s strap, are highly sought after, followed by the No.15 chest. The Canadian C No.7 .22 rifle chest is similar, but not tall enough by 2 inches.
The final item from Laidler’s books is the No.32 telescope and mounting bracket or base. If the rifle offered does not have a No.32 scope, be skeptical. Remember, the Century rifles are sold without brackets or scopes. If there is a scope, compare its number to the stamped number on the butt and the rifle number to the one on the bracket. If they match, Bingo! We have a winner. If not, don’t despair. Most No.4(T)s sold for surplus in Canada have mismatched numbers. The dealers stored the rifles unheated and the scopes heated; most salesmen or shippers didn’t know or care to match them up. It is not unreasonable to suspect a similar tale elsewhere.
In broad terms, a 1941, ‘42 or ‘43 rifle should have a MK1 scope; rifles made in ’43 and ‘44 should have a MK2 scope, and rifles made in ‘45 a MK3 or C No.67 scope (also known as a Mk4). Canadian-made REL scopes restart serial numbers with each mark change. Only a few hundred REL scopes of each mark were ever produced, so overall they are exceedingly scarce. An REL scope on a British rifle or a Long Branch rifle with British scope should be approached skeptically. The best British MK3 scopes were kept for the 7.62 conversion program, as earlier Marks were no longer needed. Some good condition MK3 scopes were sold off.
There are a number of replica scope brackets on the market. US companies like SARCO and The Sportsman’s Guide sell fake sniper rifle mounts. It has an obvious two-faceted rear face. The author succumbed to a testosterone race and bought a not-so-cleared explained replica bracket for 50% more than the retailer was asking. On the other extreme are brackets made in the UK for Roger Payne. His products are high quality and esthetically close to the original, but still distinctive to the knowledgeable collector.
The flat side will be flat, not sharply angled. Look for a round radius on the rear “arm” of the bracket and a short vertical rise from the rear finger knob. The originals were cast iron, with limited machining for the scope contact surfaces, the ring halves, and the bearing surfaces at the pads. Postwar, the British rifles stamped the rifle serial number on the rear leg. Long Branch serialized the bracket to the rifle, centered near the top edge.
Canadian knobs have a small depression in their centre. The British knobs are smooth surfaced inside. There are two styles of split washers which are not interchangeable.
Laidler suggests if the pads have tiny Broad Arrow marks, they are replacement parts from authorized sources. However, there are replica No.4(T) parts kits on the market. One internet seller includes drills, taps and screws with a set of pads. Hardware is one thing, talent is another. The key ingredient in the Holland and Holland conversion was two operators and three machines using all the same jigs. They converted rifles on a production line of one rifle after another. Every faker is trying to replicate that unique set of conditions. Without a good knowledge of the factors, it is unlikely to get the pads properly centered and aligned over the bore. A fake rifle and pads are unlikely to be aligned to the natural centre of the telescope’s adjustment.
“Is my Lee Enfield sniper rifle a fake?” (for Terry's complete article ... click here)
Collector's Comments and Feedback:
1. Terry's article should be used as a general guideline when examining a No.4(T) that's for sale, however, keep in mind that even genuine No.4(T)'s may have undergone some factory repairs, therefore they may not exactly match his descriptions. A good example is a rifle that went through one of the W.R.S. (Weedon Repair Standard) sub-contractors. A rifle having undergone W.R.S. repairs may be identified by a six (6) pointed star stamped into the wood, with a letter stamped underneath it indicating the specific sub-contractor who did the work. For example, the pics below show a different (not the one in photo pictorial) 1944 M47c (BSA Shirley) No.4 Mk1(T), that has no S51 stamped under the butt, however, the butt itself was changed during a visit to for W.R.S. work to W.W. Greener, as indicated by the six (6) pointed star and the letter V, which was their sub-contractor code letter. Therefore, when this rifle is examined overall, it's obviously a legitimate No.4(T), probably having been returned for repair from service, after having undergone some kind of damage in the field. ...... (Feedback by "Badger")
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2. According to the email correspondence of Captain Peter Mason, this "all matching" and "all correct" No.4(T) used in our photo pictorial, was a service rifle from "4 Commando" (marked on butt) and belonged to Sergeant Taffy Evans, who served with Mason throughout WWII. It went ashore at D-Day, across France and then to Walcheran Island. The rifle came with an action cover, serial number matched No.32 MkIII scope can, ammo pouches and a sniper veil. Somewhere during its life, this No.4(T) was switched from using a standard No.15 Mk1 Transit Chest, to using a custom chest, modified from an old artillery ammunition case.
Captain Peter Mason was a member of the British Secret Service's "Seek And Strike" unit and leader of the S.A.S 'Baker Team' from 1944-1948. This unit sought and pursued Nazi war criminals who had killed British agents, and upon apprehending them, proceeded to assassinate them. Winston Churchill was afraid that only the upper-echelon Nazis would be brought to justice; the S.A.S. sought out the next level of Nazis.
Mason served in many areas of conflict, including the attempted assassination of Egyptian General Gamel Abdul Nasser in 1956. Out of uniform, Mason operated behind the Iron Curtain, and also infiltrated the Irish Republican Army. ...... (Feedback by "Badger")
Official Assassin (Winston Churchill's Sas Hit Team)
By Captain Peter Mason ISBN: 0932572316
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3. Good day. I read your article on the Canadian CNo7 rifle and noted a not often known fact that lead to a mistake in your information about the No7 rifle. You stated that the CNo7 rifles were equipped with the T sniper sling swivel and that some of the canvas cover loops maybe broken off due to over turning the loop. The fact is --that many people do not know--and I am not belittling you or your well presented article/post. But forward it on in the interest of furthering our Enfield knowledge.
Firstly-- the No4T sniper sling swivel was equipped with a longer shaft on the swivel itself that allowed full rotation of the swivel itself without catching on the cover loop.
Secondly-- the later target swivels from Parker Hale had a shorter attaching stud shaft and therefore would not be able to swivel on the mounting shaft/stud, without catching the cover loop.
For this reason it is a small issue but one can assess the originality of at least one item on a No4T, if the sling swivel clears the loop we have an original sniper swivel. If it does not, move on and check all other items on the sniper to assess whether or not the claim that may have been made that the rifle is original. One piece not an original piece of equipment to the T rifles does not mean that the rest of the rifle will not be but it raises the question of whether or not a certain rifle was assembled from parts due to the value of these rifles now-a-days or whether it is an all original rifle. So many people do not know this little detail. They advertise their T rifle as all original when in fact the rifle was a bitster or a restoration from a sported sniper.
I do not know however whether the Canadian CNo7 rifles came with the original (high) sniper swivel, or whether they were equipped with the PH target swivel. It is possible that people think the No7's came with the T swivel when in fact they did originally come with the NONE --T-- swivel manufactured by Parker Hale, with the shorter target swivel shaft. .............. Feedback by "terryinvictoria"
4. With reference to terryinvictoria's comments, his feedback mostly concerns the design of "original" T sniper target swivels. I would counter by pointing out that on checking the Canadian ordnance parts list, both the Canadian No.4(T) sniper rifle and the Cno7 .22 rifle share the same sling swivel. The NSN is 1005-21-103-1202, and the reference number is DD(E)3699. While I am not in a position to argue with or against Terry's points with reference to the sling swivels used on British rifles, as I have only had a half dozen or so of these on which to compare, I would suggest that in Canadian service, the swivel is the same, and that on both the rifle types in question, the swivel is identical. .............. Feedback by "stencollector"
5. In reference to terryinvictoria's feedback, here's an example of a No.4(T) sling swivel with British government "Broad Arrow" acceptance markings. The sling swivel pictured below does not rotate 360 degrees and it's the original one that came installed on this 1944 Enfield No.4 Mk1(T) Sniper Rifle from Captain Peter Mason's "4 Commando" unit, that is the subject of this knowledge library thread.
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In addition, the target sling swivel on the 1944 C No.7 .22 Caliber Lee-Enfield Training Rifle (click here) , featured in the Canada - Milsurp Knowledge Library (click here), also does not rotate 360 degrees, as shown in the pics of it below.
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This information got me curious, so I went on a hunting expedition through ~Angel~'s Enfield collection and dug out ten (10) No.4(T) sniper rifles, all dating between 1944 and 1945, which included a Canadian Long Branch. Only one (1) was equipped with a target sling swivel that rotated 360 degrees. As shown in the pics below, it also happens to be the only one that's marked "Parker Hale - Made on England" and it has no British government "Broad Arrow" acceptance markings at all.
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Well, I have to say that the follow up research I've done on the sampling of ten No.4(T)'s and three (3) C No.7 .22 training rifles, seems to support stencollector's original conclusions in his article above, where he stated "Lastly, a target swivel, the same as that installed on a “T” sniper rifle, was installed just forward of the magazine on the king screw. An interesting anomaly of the target swivel is that many Cno7s can be found with the small action cover attaching loop, located between the magazine and the target swivel, missing. They are likely broken off by the rotation of the target swivel.
We'd be interested in hearing from anyone else with empirical data who could shed some more light on this. .............. Feedback by "Badger"
6. I was just reading this Knowledge Library entry page and I came across the "feedback" by "terryinvictoria" about the king screw sling swivel. Sadly he is incorrect. The only swivels which clear the action cover loop are aftermarket produced, ala "Parker Hale".
I do have some military issue swivels which clear the loop, but they are specifically for the Australian HT. These were a straight copy (or unmarked variant) of the common swivel used in Australia on their "range rifles" pre-WWII, and subsequently militarized during the war.
I obtained my samples from "Vulch" on the old Gun & Knife and Gunboards forums. I'm sure "terryinvictoria" also obtained a sample from the same source, and ascribed it's features to all military swivels. In the Ts & No7s (5) immediately to hand none have swivels which clear the loop.
Strangely enough, Peter Laidler addressed this exact subject in relation to the No4T and L42 on the OLD Jouster forums. .............. Feedback by "Lee Enfield"
Posted By: Peter Laidler
Date: Wed 20 Feb 2008 12:25 pm
Thread titled “sniper rifle warning................”
I notice that the rifle referred to here and others that I've seen/noticed have a fake/post war/commercial trigger guard sling swivel. How do you tell one of these from the real thing? Simple. The Military issue sling swivel, B1/CR-540, WILL FOUL the steel loop at the front of the trigger guard. Read that again. It WILL FOUL the loop at 180 degrees of rotation either way. The reason is to prevent the sling loop and sling rotating and getting itself into a twist.
The post war commercial item that fakers use is slightly longer and will just clear the small wire loop. This allows it and therefore the sling to rotate through 360 degrees. The sling can and will twist. So be advised of this very small point. If this small point isn't right, ask yourself WHY. It left military service with the right one........... That's if it is a true No4T or L42!
Remember. Real McCoy, WILL foul the wire loop. A post war commercial will NOT and will rotate through 360 degrees
Posted by: Peter Laidler
Date: Sun 1 Feb 2009 5:03 am
Being anal about the swivel.....
On the subject of the swivel, it's not meant to replace anything. It is in ADDITION to. The snipers were (and are) taught to use the different variables of sling and sling positions and the choice is left to them. Some ignore the SWIVEL, sling, triger guard and some used it but it was their choice.
The real McCoy were phosphated and painted and didn't always carry a makers mark. Those early wartime ones from H&H had a tiny S51 mark on the screwdriver slot end while some presumably later ones didn't carry a mark while other from BSA, for the No8 rifle, did carry the M47 mark, as did the Faz for their No8 production
Don't forget that there were TWO sorts. The COMMERCIAL one had a longer thicker part of the shaft that would enable the loop part to clear the little loop on the trigger guard while the UK MoD spec one had a deliberately short shaft that would stop at the loop and prevent the sling twisting.
If you have a LONG one, it belongs to a commercial target rifle. You can shorten the long thick part shaft on a lathe to make a good replica but you'll have to shorten the screwed part and recut the thread. If I remember, it's a 1/4" BSF but check first.................... Or one day I'll tell you about restoring nmy Mini and cutting 26TPI BSF threads when what I REALLY wanted was 28 TPI UNF. Well, it's an easy mistake to make!
7. All the No4T rifles were slowly modified with the front trigger guard swivel as a result of snipers being taught to use the single point sling method as an alternative to the well established top and bottom sling loop method. In wartime, a rifle could go for years without going to an Armourers shop or even being noticed, especially if the sniper didn't know or didn't use the front trigger guard sling swivel. So both with or without are correct. The same goes for cheek rests on the earliest No4T's. With or without are both correct.
I suppose that if you had an original rifle, straight from the battlefield in Italy, fitted with a long Bren webbing sling (which was well liked, taught and used more often than not....) then THAT would be original too.
But, be warned, there are two sorts of front trigger guard swivel. The VAOS part (that's the Army spec one) has a short shank that will not allow the swivel to rotate a full circle as it get stopped by the cover loop on the trigger guard. The commercial sling loops have a longer shank that clears the loop.
As for the cover loop on the trigger guard, then while I insisted that they were present, other armourers, some senior and some junior, said that it was academic and didn't mind either way............... The reason for NOT replacing them was that a change of trigger guard meant that you had to spend the next couple of hours re-setting up the trigger pull-offs! Some say that about 50 percent of the L42's disposed of didn't have the loop. ....... (Feedback by "Peter Laidler")
8. Martin Pegler talks about British sniper rifles on Guns and Ammo ...... (Feedback by "Badger")
9. I noticed a thread over on Gunboards which had a really interesting photo in it of a complete No.4(T) kit layout. We requested permission from Milsurps.com member Terrylee to re-publish his comments and photographs here. .............. Feedback by "Badger"
Equipment of the British Sniper 1944/45
Pics and descriptions provided coutesy of Milsurps.com member "Terrylee" (click here)
Rifle, No.4 Mk1 (T) with Sling and Packing Case
No.32 Telescopic Sight, Carrying Case and Adjusting Tool
Denison Smock (1945)
Binoculars, Prismatic, No.2 Mk.II with Webbing Case
Telescope, Scout Regiment Mk.II with Leather Case
Compass, Prismatic, Mk.III with Leather Case
2 Face veils
50 Rounds Mk.VII S.A.A. in Bandolier
5 Rounds Armour Piercing
5 Rounds Tracer
2 No.36 Grenades
Emergency Ration (1944 - stale?)
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British Sniper Kit by "Terrylee"
(24 picture virtual tour)
10. The Lee Enfield by Ian Skennerton (2007) - ISBN: 9780949749826 is an excellent general reference book on the evolution of Lee-Enfield rifles, however, it doesn't go into great detail on their use as sniper rifles. Ian Skennerton published an earlier 266 page work in 1983 called The British Sniper (British & Commonwealth Sniping & Equipments 1915-1983) - ISBN 0 949749 03 6. For anyone wanting a lot more detail research with pictures covering the evolution of sniping, this is an excellent supplement to his later work. It is out of print, so I'd suggest you use a "Google" search on the title to see if you can find a copy from one of the rare used book sources on the Internet. I found my copy on eBay. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")
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11. The secret to creating and maintaining quality research data in the Milsurps Knowledge Library is you! This is your site and these MKL entries on various old milsurps are yours to add to, or change. The volunteers on the Advisory Panel (click here) can only do so much to vet and validate the information posted here, so please contribute as much as possible to help us present the most accurate and reliable data we can gather on these old milsurps. If you own a particular specimen of any MKL entry, then please send us pics of it, even though they may be duplicate views of pieces you already see here. In that way, we can build up multiple sets of pics for several milsurps of the same model, which will help in indentifying markings and authenticity. For example, in the case of this MKL entry of the 1944 Enfield No.4 Mk1(T) Sniper Rifle, if you own one, we'd like to receive more pics of the stampings and serial number views as shown in the "Observations" section and various "Collector's Comments and Feedback" notes. ALL pics and information received will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and respect of your privacy. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, which is helping to make the Milsurps Collectors Forums a prominent site for serious collectors of all genres of old milsurp collectibles. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")