April 2015 - Featured Milsurp Library Entry of the Month
1941 No.4 Mk1 Long Branch Rifle
(Serial # 0L6062- Mfg by Long Branch, Canada)
(All Matching Serial Numbers)
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Caliber: ....................... .303 in. (British)
Rifling & Twist: ............. 2 Groove, Enfield, Left Hand 1 turn in 10"
Barrel Length: .............. 25.2 in. (640mm)
Overall Length: ............ 44.5 in. (1130mm)
Weight: ....................... 9 lb. (4.1kg)
Magazine Capacity: ...... 10 rounds
Qty Mfg: ...................... 1941 (approx 10,000 - 15,000) according to Stratton (See Collector's Comments Note #2)
Qty Mfg: ...................... 1941 (7,589 rifles delivered out of the factory) according to Skennerton (See Collector's Comments Note #2)
Source: .... The Lee-Enfield by Ian Skennerton (2007) - ISBN: 9780949749826
Source: .... Lee-Enfield No.4 and No.5 Rifles (Vol 2) by Charles R. Stratton - ISBN: 1882391241
Canadian Market Value Estimate: $
1941 No.4 Mk1 Long Branch Rifle (150 picture virtual tour)
Observations: by Advisory Panel Member Lance Note: Rifle provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member ~Angel~.
Long Branch No.4 Mk I's are considered rare due to the fact that out of the 900,000+ No.4's made by LB only about 14,000 are Mk I's with about half of them having both 1941 dated receivers and barrels. Skip Stratton puts the total on Mk I Long Branch's up to the serial number 1L8xxx range. As with Savage production I think there is no clear break in the serial numbers. (See Collector's Comments Note #2)
Long Branch had a hard time initially making barrels thus slowing production. About 3,000 of the first rifles were shipped to Australia, some went to New Zealand and of course some to the UK. Of course they are also rare since they were used immediately.
Very early rifle's have been known to have Enfield produced internal parts along with both a waisted front sight protector and hinged front hand guard band. These were both done away with in early production as I have not seen an example with a waisted front sight protector over the 0L3xxx range and the hinged front band was done away with around the 0L6xxx range. Both of these pieces were made in house at Long Branch and were converted to the more traditional shape.
Other bits that were slowly changed as production went along was the early style button cocking piece, the singer style rear sight, the notched front hand guard for the band hinge, and the low walled forend cut out for a magazine cut off. Later on in Mk I* production the hand guard bands were no longer milled and further in production the trigger guard was assembled out of stamped pieces and the rear sight was changed from the "L" flip type to the Canadian CMk 3 and CMk 4 style.
Collector's Comments and Feedback:
1. Lance mentions in his article that early 1941 rifle had the waisted front sight protector used in the estimated pre-0L3xxx range and that the hinged front band was done away with around the 0L6xxx range. The 1941 Long Branch rifle serial number 0L6062, displayed in this Knowledge Library photo montage, has the hinged barrel band and is stamped LB, indicating it was manufactured in Canada by Long Branch, but has the later generation front sight protector, also manufactured by Long Branch. The pics below show examples of the early waisted front sight protector on other rifles, as well as the hinged barrel band mounted on 1941 Long Branch rifle serial number 0L6062, displayed in this Knowledge Library photo montage. .......... (Feedback by "Badger")
British correct "waisted" front sight protectors.
Note: pronounced steps on inside of sight band which cause the band to fit snug against barrel.
S.M. = Singer Mfg Co., Clydebank, Scotland. Pic courtesy of "Lance"
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1941 Long Branch correct "waisted" front sight protector used on estimated pre-0L3xxx range.
Note: pronounced steps on inside of sight protector band which cause the band to fit snug against barrel. Pic courtesy of "Superbee"
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Hinged barrel band mounted on 1941 Long Branch rifle serial number 0L6062, displayed in photo montage.
Band is stamped LB on left side (center of band) and was manufactured in Canada by Long Branch (Click PIC to Enlarge)
2. As mentioned in the header section under "Qty Mfg", Skennerton states on Page 311 of his new 2007 book "The Lee Enfield", when referencing Long Branch production in the first year ..... "Increased production was required to reach 25,000 rifles per month and although substantial quantities of most components were available for assembly by September 1941, some delays were being experienced in the manufacture of barrels, cocking pieces and the Mark 1 backsight. By 30th September, a total of 200 rifles had been assembled and shipped; the number of employees at Long Branch had increased to 1,220. Notwithstanding, by the end of 1941, production was moving into full swing with a total of 7,589 rifles delivered out of the factory"
On the other hand, Skip Stratton in his book "Lee-Enfield No.4 and No.5 Rifles (Vol 2)" on Page 168-169, refers to 1941 Long Branch production of No.4 Mk1 rifles as being between serial numbers 0Lxxxx and 1Lxxxx with a "footnote (a)" saying .... "Long Branch production in 1941 was only 10,000 to 15,000 rifles. .......... (Feedback by "Badger")
3. If you should happen to be offered any Long Branch or British "Trials" rifle with a waisted front sight protector mounted on it, you should be careful to check if it is either "home made", or possibly an outright fake. Examine the pics below.
Note: For the correct version, look closely at the pronounced steps on inside of sight band, which cause the band to fit snug against barrel and in this case, it's also marked S.M. 41 = Singer Mfg Co., Clydebank, Scotland. The correct version pic of British made front sight protectors was provided courtesy of "Lance". Also note the pic in Collector's Comments Note #1, provided courtesy of "Superbee", which shows a correct and properly marked Long Branch manufactured waisted front sight protector. .......... (Feedback by "Badger")
4. Here's some additional pictures to show other types of "waisted" front sight protectors that a collector may encounter. The pic below depicts two other correct British "waisted" front sight protectors. The one on the left is for a SMLE Mk VI Trials rifle and the one on the right is for a No4. Mk1 Trials rifle. Note that the SMLE sight protectors are not cut out to allow for the sight adjustment screw. In both cases, note the pronounced steps on inside of sight protector band which cause the band to fit snug against barrel. .......... (Feedback by "Lance")
Pic courtesy of "Lance"
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5. To show another variation that occurred during the manufacture of this rifle, here's a pic of my No.4 Mk1 Long Branch that was thrown into production in the first quarter of '42. Note both Mk I and Mk I* bolt release mechanisms. .......... (Feedback by "Lance")