1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch Sniper Rifle

1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch Sniper Rifle1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch Sniper Rifle
1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch

1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch Sniper Rifle

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1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1*
Experimental Long Branch "Scout" Sniper Rifle Serial # ASC-43-3

c/w No.32 Mk.4 (C No.67 Mk1)
Scope Serial #57-C
(C.G.B. 91 CGA Mfg by R.E.L (Research Enterprises Ltd.)

Caliber: ....................... .303 in.
Rifling & Twist: ............. 5 Groove, Enfield, Left Hand
Barrel Length: .............. 25.2 in. (640mm)
Overall Length: ............ 44.5 in. (1130mm)
Weight: ....................... 10 Lbs. (Weighed - mag empty)
Magazine Capacity: ....... 10 rounds
Converted: ................... Long Branch
Scope: ......................... No.32 Mk.4 Scope #57-C C.G.B. 91 CGA
Mfg by R.E.L (Research Enterprises Ltd.), Leaside Ontario, Canada
Qty Mfg ........................ 20 (4 with regular Enfield bayonet lug like this one)

Source: ..... Without Warning by Clive LAW - ISBN: 1-894581-16-4
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


 

Copyrighted material reproduced here with the gracious written permission of Clive Law ....

(start of extract) ....... As REL experimented with different mounts and different sights, SAL (Small Arms Limited), at the behest of the Army, undertook to develop several new weapons during the war, one of which was an improved sniper rifle. The project was instigated by the War Office, in 1943, who felt that several weapons could benefit from new designs. These were identified as; a light rifle, a sniper rifle, a self loading rifle, a machine carbine and a light automatic rifle. When asked which of these projects Canada would wish to undertake the army replied that Canadian competence was in the light rifle, sniper rifle and machine carbine. Co-incidentally these were the style of firearms manufactured in the Crown-owned Small Arms Limited, and no mention was made of expertise developed by the John Inglis Company in the manufacture of light machine guns, pistols and anti-tank rifles.

The authority for SAL to undertake this development came from a meeting held with the Army Technical Development Board (ATDB), the Department of Munitions & Supply (DMS) and the Directorate of Vehicles and Arms (DVA) of the Department of National Defence. At the meeting it was pointed out that (the recently promoted again) Colonel Jolley of SAL sought approval to experiment with No.4 rifles to simplify the mounts for telescopic sights as well as other improvements to the sniper rifle. To support further development it was recommended that a Contract Demand in the amount of $2,500 be raised to cover the costs of manufacturing 20 experimental sniper rifles. The rifles were to be of two distinct types; the first 10 featuring heavy barrels, two of which were to have battle sights of 200 yards capable of being used with the telescopic sights mounted on the rifle. These two rifles were also to include a third sling swivel immediately in front of the magazine housing. The remaining 8 rifles were to have a standard sight usable only when the scope was removed. The second group of 10 rifles (as in this Knowledge Library entry) were to have cut down stocks and could be with or without heavy barrels at the discretion of Colonel Jolley and his experimental shop. These 10 rifles were to be fitted with offset sights and a wooden hand guard. All 20 rifles were to feature "special stocks ... rubber pads, cheek pieces, incorporated and improved pistol grip". They were all to be equipped with a combination of either the Griifen & Howe bracket and clamp mounts or the SAL spring-bar side mount. These rifles were further described as either a "Scout Sniper's Rifle" or a "Section Sniper's Rifle". They could be indentified by their serial number prefix; ASC (for Scout) or ASE (for Section)

In a letter to ATDB, T.K. MacKeigan of Small Arms Limited described them as:

The Scout Sniper's Rifle .... in this report with 2 1/2x Lyman telescope weighs 9 lbs. 12 oz. Without the telescope it weighs 8 lbs. 6 oz. The barrel is 24 inches long, weighs 2 lbs. 9 oz. and has an outside diameter of 0.003 inches greater than the standard barrel. The off-set sights mounted on this model are for use with the telescope on. The windmill type back-sight provides adjustments for 200, 300, 400 and 600 yards. The front sight swings out from under the guard. It mounts a standard sight blade. The body of this rifle has been considerably cut away for lightness. The main portions removed are: the top back-end including the bridge, the outside half of the sear lugs, and the clearance for the sear on the underside of the body. Four of these were to accept the No.4 spike bayonet (like this Knowledge Library example), three were described as "semi-long forend and US bayonet" while the last three were not setup to accept any bayonet. The fore-end has been cut down for lightness with a rear hand guard provided and a band at the front to hold them together. The front plastic block is ornamental.

The Section Sniper's Rifle and the 5x Gimbal type telescope manufactured by REL are make-shift in some respects. The telescope mount is a Griffin & Howe design, consequently it is too high. The 5x telescope (early model) has some superfluous brackets on the underside. However, the rifle with telescope weighs 10 lbs 10 oz, without the telescope - 9 lbs. The barrel is standard length and is 0.003 greater on the outside diameter. This rifle has a MkI back-sight with the battle sight removed to allow more room for mounting the telescope. This can be used only when the telescope is off. The telescope mounts for the rifles were designed by SAL in conjunction with the development, by REL, of 3 1/2x and 5x telescopes. The mount consists mainly of two parts, the bracket and the spring bar. The bracket is a simplified form of a Griffin & Howe type. It is detachable from the spring bar, on loosening the two clamping screws, by sliding it backwards. The spring bar, also of SAL design, is fixed to the body at the front by two screws and tapered pins. The back end is adjustable for windage. Special butts were provided with each rifle. These butts were interchangeable with the standard design and featured a built-in cheek rest as well as an oil resistant synthetic rubber recoil pad. A black plastic fitting was provided to increase the length of the pistol grip. Only two of these rifles were equipped with the sling swivel ahead of the magazine.

At the same time, REL was experimenting with a new finish for their optical products. especially binoculars and telescopic sights. They used a variety of techniques to reduce the visibility of the No.67 (No.32 Mk.4) scope as well as the Observer's scope. The Observer's scope was wrapped in a khaki Vinylite, a covering which was applied with an adhesive, much like wallpaper. Those parts of the Observer's scope which were not covered with Vinylite and were exposed when the draw tube was extended, were subject to a drab anodizing while rest of the scope was given a caustic etching. The No.67 (No.32 Mk.4) scope was finished with a khaki silica paint.



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