Deceased August 5th, 2016
07-28-2009 06:15 PM
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That particular Long Branch with the Alaskan Lyman scope (alas, not matched to the rifle) went for about $2400 on GB about 2 days ago. I thought it was a decent price, and had I the $, I peobably would have bid on it.
I think that rifle is a fake
I saw it when it was offered on gun broker and think it is a fake:
here are the reasons:
1) Every one of the sniper serial numbers on the 99 assembled in 1944~1945 I have read about were in the 74Lxxx range, with one questionable 53Lxxxx number. This rifle is an 22Lxxxx range, which makes it an early 1943 rifle. Would someone care to explain why that might be? Now the explanation that they had accurate "selected" rifles sitting around does not make sense, as an 22Lxxxx rifles from early 43 should have already been made into a sniper by late 1944.
2) The rear sight is not a LB Mk 1 sight, but a "B" post war marked rear sight with the battle sight ground down. Notice the CR marking on the first picture. I seem to recall that "B" marked CR sights are BSA manufacturer. A real one should have have a battle apeture cut down LB marked sight of war time manufactuer, but as we all know that is a difficult part to find.
3) The blue on the scope mount does not match the blue on the rifle mount. I seem to recall that they shoudl, having been fabricated of the same tyep of steel and assembled at the same time, including final finish.
Those three observations lead me to believe this is a complete fake, and not a very good one at that. At the very best it is a bunch of correct parts (with the exception of the rear sight) assembled.
One final note, when sold the rifle had the serial number of the scope 74L)0053 or something close to that shown, as well as the rifle serial number (22lxxxx). It diod nto assert it was correct if I recall. It was offered at a price of 1500, which might not be all that unreasonable for a reproduction rifle. This ad does not list the serial numbers and asserts it is real.
Any other observations?
English as a second langauge
Corrections to my previous poor grammar and clarification of same. I saw this rifle when it was offered on gun broker, did a little research and think it is a fake:
Here are the reasons:
1) Every one of the sniper serial numbers on the 99 assembled in 1944~1945 I have read about were in the 74Lxxx range, with one 53Lxxxx number. This rifle is a 22Lxxxx range, which makes it an early 1943 rifle. That seems too early to be legitimate. Now the explanation that they had accurate "selected" rifles sitting around waiting to be made into snipers does not make sense, as an 22Lxxxx rifles from early 1943 should have already been made into a sniper by late 1944.
2) The rear sight is not a LB Mk 1 sight, but a "B" post war marked rear sight with the battle sight ground down. Notice the CR part number marking on the first picture. I seem to recall that "B" marked CR sights are BSA manufacturer. A real one should have a battle aperture cut down LB marked sight of war time manufacture, but as we all know that is a difficult part to find. The BSA sight is common.
3) The blue on the scope mount (attached to scope) does not match the blue on the rifle mount (attached to rifle). The rifle mount seems to have a flat finish, while the scope mount is a bright blue. What I read indicates that they should have a matching finish, having been fabricated of the same type of steel and assembled at the same time, including final blue. As the mounts were all fabricated at one time, the explanation that the finish does not match does not seem to be a valid answer. At best the rifle mount was re-blued before being assembled on the rifle.
Those three observations lead me to believe this is a complete fake, and not a very good one at that. It seems the individual took a nice condition early 1943 No 4 MK I* Long Branch put the scope and rear sniper cheek pad on the rifle. Both the rear cheek pad and rear sight can be obtained from vendors (Springfield sporters and Numrich). At the very best it is a bunch of correct parts (with the exception of the rear sight) assembled. The scope and scope mount might well be real and a unit, but the rifle mount, rifle itself, and rear aperture sight were most likely assembled out of parts that the individual had.
One final note, when sold at action the rifle had the serial number of the scope 74L0053 or something close to that shown, as well as the rifle serial number (22lxxxx). It did not assert it was correct if I recall, but fairly cleverly described the rifle as an example of this type of rifle or some other such statement that did not assert it as being original. It was offered at a price of 1499, which might not be all that unreasonable for a reproduction rifle of such rarity, especially if the scope and mount were correct.
This ad does not list the serial numbers and asserts it is real. Any other observations or perhaps corrections to my observations? I am not an expert on these rifles; I have never actually handled one, but did a little research on them when I saw this one up for sale. I would be interested in what real experts who have handled such rifles have to say.
Thank you for your observations. This is the first time in my experience that not having any money turned out to be an advantage. Who needs that damned ol' economic stimulus money anyway!!!
There are two good methods of telling whether a sniper rifle is a fake but you've got to be able to handle and look at it. And here they are. So all look, learn and inwardly digest. I'm no expert on these things but have handled a couple
When the telescope is properly fixed to the bracket and the bracket is properly fixed to and zeroed to the rifle, then the point of the grat WILL be slap bang in the centre of the screen. There is a little leeway, a few clicks or so, left or right error and a few more clicks up and down for the range BUT, it will be in the centre.
And when the rifle is shot, the grat stays there. I've said this time and time again but when we strip and repair telescopes, they are centred.
As for someone just screwing on a bracket and getting it right for elevation AND deflection, without a LOT of inside, almost intimate knowledge of what he is doing and what the Armourers did will be difficult
ANYONE can screw the bits on and get a telescope to boresight and zero, but only the highly skilled (?) will get it to boresight and zero with the telescope graticule in the mddle of the image screen. I have had people tell me till they're blue in the face that their No4T is all highly original, straight off their dad who did this that and the other with it. And I can see that the grat is way high up in the top edge of the screen or low left............ It CANNOT be.
I could go on and on but the same applies to the Lymans. We have one at work and just as per the No32's, it's set up perfectly, just as I said..... When the rifle is zeroed, (with ours, at 200 yards, the point of the grat is in the dead centre of the screen.
If it's not in the centre of the screen, you'll get optical distortion, depending on how far around the curvature of the lens you get. And, as I understand the art of sniping, the second to last thing a sniper needs is optical distortion. The last thing he needs apparently, is an itchy ar...., er, bottom!
The Following 6 Members Say Thank You to Peter Laidler For This Useful Post:
(Lee Enfield Forums)
Peter I assume the Lyman fitted sniper your referring to is a Long Branch converted No4?
If so did they bring the mounting screws flush with the inside of the receiver and finish them to match? On the original H&H conversions I’ve seen the ends of screws have been milled off and refinished level with the inside of the receiver making them almost disappear.
On many of the recent fakes I’ve seen the screws are left short in their holes leaving a recess in which debris can collect inside the action which could, of course, cause no end to trouble.
Yes, our Lyman is on a No4 Long Branch, sent here for trials. It failed miserably I have to confess.......... and yep, flush with and made off to the inside of the receiver, sometimes so good that it's hard to ell that there are screws present. BUT, during the last days of the No4T and L42, the screws were a tad short and didn't quite make it.
A sure sign of a fake is 4mm Metric screws too. I've checked my Machinery's handbook and 4BA Metric 47/60 degree pitch isn't listed!
Thank You to Peter Laidler For This Useful Post:
(Lee Enfield Forums)
Yet another useful piece of information to be used when trying to determine a No4T’s authenticity.
Now should you ever find yourself on vacation in BC Canada make sure to stop by my place here on the Island as I only have about 10,000 more questions to ask you. Don’t worry I’ll supply the beer and ammo!
Oh and one more thing.. please bring your tools as I have a No32Mk3 scope with a stuck windage turret and….