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Thread: 1916 SHTLE Enfield Rarity???

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  1. #1
    Member CelticCollector's Avatar
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    1916 SHTLE Enfield Rarity???

    I found the rifle above from a private seller. The rarity part is, at least to me, is that all numbers match. Bolt, Magazine, Receiver, Barrel, and nosecap. He said he bought it 15 yrs ago, and never fired it. It looks as if it still has lots of cosmolineicon in places, and he said the bore is dark. All I have seen are pictures as of now. Is this rifle an oddity in Enfield history, or uncommon to find all matching parts?


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    Advisory Panel smellie's Avatar
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    Most of these rifles, friend, have been through TWO World Wars and a lot of them served in Korea as well. When they were broken and smashed and blown up and crudded solid with mud, they were sent back and repaired and rebuilt, repaired and rebuilt again. Yes, an original First World War rifle is not the easiest thing to find these days.

    When you get it into your hot little hands, clean out the barrel very well. Often, what appears to be a 'dark bore' (meaning corroded) actually is just dried-out old grease (Cosmoline or its early equivalent) sitting in the grooves and absorbing all the light that can get at it. I have cleaned up a few and found really nice bores. Of course, I also cleaned one and found that I needed a new barrel!

    You don't mention a maker for your 1916. There were 6 makers working that year:
    RSAF Enfield
    BSA (Birmingham Small Arms)
    LSA (London Small Arms)
    SSA (Standard Small Arms, Birmingham)
    Ishapore Arsenal (Ishapore, India)
    Lithgowicon (Australian plant at Lithgow, NSW)

    All are marked well under the bolt-handle EXCEPT for the SSA; it is marked to everything EXCEPT the factory under the bolt handle; factory designation is on the left-rear of the receiver as you sight the rifle.

    Post up some pics when she arrives.

    And congratulations on the find.

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    It says Enfield under the crown on I believe the right hand side of the buttsocket when sighting the rifle. Does not say RSAF Enfield, just Enfield. Then 1916 under that, and ShTLE III* below that. It looks like in the pics under the rear sight, a possible " HV " stamping. I can try to send pics to you for a better overview from someone with better knowledge. Were the bayonets serial numbered to individual rifles as well?
    Last edited by CelticCollector; 07-08-2010 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Forgot to include bayonet info

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    One easy way to tell if your rifle has been through rebuild is to remove the rear handguard and check the barrel date. Usually it will be above the the area covered by the fore stock, but not always. look for a '16 or some other 'xx number the barrels were numbered upon installation so that SHOULD match. As smellie states, an ALL WWI rifle isn't exactly eay to find. Enfield and others rebuilt the vast majority between the wars.

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    From the pics I have been sent under the rear sight has the serial number, and right in front of the receiver serial number E 12xx, is the exact same serial number. I assume the E stands for Enfield factory? Both serial number are on the right hand side of the rifle from viewing down sights. On the left is all the proof markings, and '16 stamped on the barrel next to the receiver. In the pics the stock looks like it has been in cosmolineicon for years lol. Oily looking and dark. He said when it is out in the sun the gun starts leaching out BLOicon. I figure that is cosmoline instead of BLOicon. Anymore thoughts?

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    Really Senior Member RJW NZ's Avatar
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    That leaching thing is a handy comment. wrap it up in an old sheet, or paper, not a lot, and leave it on the back window of your car for a few hours, (don't go for a drive to the bank) the oil will pour out and be soaked up, rub it off with a cloth, repeat several times. The reason for doing it is if you don't it'll get hot at the range and you'll get gun sweat all over yer clothes.

    E and EFD = enfield (if you go into enfield resourcedot com theres several sites on markings)

    Iif you match receiver and bolt = a good thing
    if you match receiver bolt and barrel = more of a good thing, not very common with a ww1 rifle
    if you match (like a scratch of lotto isn't it) receiver bolt barrel and nosecap = not so easy to find and a very good thing
    if you match receiver bolt barrel nosecap and rear sight = bloomin near miraculous
    if you also match the magazine and the rifle is ww1 age = maybe a ww2 magazine from a rebuild I think. No4's sometimes match the mag, no1 mk3's hardly ever.

    If you have all these numbers and its a shooter, and wood isn't knackered, you have a winner, give him under 300 and off you go a happy camper
    ps love to see a picture a range report
    Last edited by RJW NZ; 07-09-2010 at 01:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJW NZicon View Post
    E and EFD = enfield (if you go into enfield resourcedot com theres several sites on markings)


    if you also match the magazine and the rifle is ww1 age = maybe a ww2 magazine from a rebuild I think. No4's sometimes match the mag, no1 mk3's hardly ever.
    The "E" directly in front of, or on top of, the S/N is likely the prefix to the serial itself. If the "E" is adjacent to other little "squigglies" it does stand for Enfield.

    SMLE mags weren't generally numbered to the rifle in WWI, I'm pretty sure. Why not? I've no idea.

    Otherwise, ditto what RJW NZ states!

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    I can try to send some pics of the gun to some of you if you leave me your email. From there you can either confirm my thoughts or not.

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    So the rifle itself is an ENFIELD Enfield! The factory was the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield Lock, but they just stamped the rifles "ENFIELD", as yours. The "HV" stamp means that the backsight bed is ground for the "High-Velocity" ammunition, the Mark VII Ball load which developed 2440 ft/sec with the 174-grain bullet, an improvement over the older Mark II (also Mark VI) load of a 215 at 2060 ft/sec. This high-velocity load became the standard in 1910 and still is produced for military use to the same specification today in India and Pakistan both; it was the normal loading in both World Wars.

    And you have all numbers match, the original 1916 barrel in place. Gooder and gooder.

    WHY the mag is serialled, God only knows. This wasn't standard procedure but perhaps the General demanded it or something.

    All in all, I would say that you have a very real PRIZE.

    Congratulations, friend!

    And we are ALWAYS looking to see pics of something this nice.

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    Once I purchase this rifle and get it in my hands I shall post pics. Thanks to all for comments and opinions on my rare find.

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