Just purchased a No. 4 Mk1
Hi, I've just purchased a Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk1 and need a little help with it. I've been using the Net and Books to help identify it properly but it has a lack of stamps so I'm having trouble.
The bolt and receiver both have the same serial number - 21915. The serial number on the receiver is on the band that the butt fits into - there are no other markings on that band that I can see..
It's very faint, and may be wishful thinking but on the receiver close to the safety I can make out the markings - No 4 Mk 1 ROFF and then a 943 or 945
The o of No is raised and underlined.
There are some proof marks on the top of the barrel, but they are very small and I can't make head nor tail of them. I can make out the numbers 36 - referring to the length of the barrel?
On the rear hand-guard, on the inside are the stamps 1, SL/74 and a chevron symbol, on the front hand-guard on the inside a symbol looking like a large X appears and the number 33.
The sight is not the Mk1 sight with the micrometer, I think it's mk 3 sight - it has MK III stamped on it after all. The clip and spring appears to be broken however and the aperture slide moves freely. I probably need to repair or replace this sight - would you recommend that I replace it with a mk1 sight? I've seen a few available on the net.
See here for pictures http://sprydle.smugmug.com/Hobbies/L...77383619_x5ArK - the numbers are mostly visible in the shots, if you choose the image at its "original" size.
Thanks in advance for any help.
08-21-2010 03:24 PM
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Hello John and welcome to the boards,,,,
Your rifle, from the description of the markings you provided, would appear to be a No 4 Mk 1 ROF(F) 1943. That translates to a No.4 Mk.I being made at the Fazakerley Arsenal in 1943. The "C" with the arrow in it on the handguard is Canadian and SL/74 indicates a British sub-contractor which made small parts for rifles during WW II. Nice find and Congratulations. One question... is the a "A" after the serial number ?
Last edited by SpikeDD; 08-21-2010 at 03:33 PM.
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Originally Posted by SpikeDD
Thanks for the info!
No, there's no A after the serial number. There are a distinct lack of marks and stamps on this rifle which judging from what I have read is not the norm, is it?
Last edited by sprydle; 08-21-2010 at 03:49 PM.
Additionally it has a canvas strap with what appears to be either an M or a W in a circle plus some other markings that I can't decipher. The strap is also in pretty good condition. There is also an F on the bolt - you can see it in one of the pictures.
I've cleaned the rifle, removed some copper fouling and am really looking forward to shooting it.Until I either repair or replace the sights, I'll have to make do with the battle sights.
Nice rifle, looks like a beauty. I don't think it's uncommon to have faint or hard to see marks. Has the rifle been reblued at some stage? Anyway it looks a ripper
Congrats on the new toy, sprydle!
Your battle sight is set for 200 yards, so it will shoot a bit high at 100 if that's what you are trying it at.
Your best bet is to handload for this rifle. Seriously, that is the only way you will get the accuracy out of the rifle which it is capable of producing. Factory sights are set for the Mark VII Ball cartridge, which used a composite 3-piece bullet with an aluminum nose-piece INSIDE the jacket. This produces 2440 ft/sec at the muzzle and an even 2300 ft/lbs of muzzle energy: they are still very popular up here as a Moose rifle, used with softpoint 180s.
Prvi Partizan brass is made pretty much to the old military specs for this rifle AND it is Boxer-primed. The BEST brass for the .303 ever turned out was the Defence Industries stuff from Canada (headstamp DI Z 19XX with a 1942-1945 date). They made a couple of billion rounds of the stuff and the rim thickness (vital for headspacing) all was within ONE thousandth of the .063" maximum, so was very tight. Sometimes you can find some of this ammo at a gun show, or folks will throw it away at the range. If you see any, grab it; you won't find much better brass anywhere. This ammunition all was Boxer-primed, noncorrosive and nonmercuric.
Stay away from the stuff with the big copper primer. This is Berdan-primed and it was all mercuric and corrosive: lines your barrel with salt, which is NOT good stuff inside a barrel.
I find that most of my.303s like about 37 grains of 4895 with a Sierra 180-grain Pro-Hunter flatbase bullet. I seat to the overall length of a military round. This crowds the rifling just a tiny bit and it is a very accurate loading, low pressure, only comes out at 2250 ft/sec but, as I said, VERY accurate. Stay with flatbase bullets for ANY Lee-Enfield AND for the P-'14 if you should get one (and also with the US M-1917, which had the same rifling).
Stick around here. Lots of people willing to help. Be sure you download a manual for your rifle, too. Available right here for free download.
Take care and be sure to have fun.
Last edited by smellie; 08-21-2010 at 06:39 PM.
Thanks for the great info gents!
wrt hand-loading, that's something I may do if I start to shoot the gun a lot - I reload 12 gauge shell's already, but reloading brass will require a number of new tools, which is a good and a bad thing. There appear to be numerous online sources for ammo - but before I buy any in bulk, I'm going to try a number of different manufacturers and types to see what the gun likes the best.
I messed with the spring and catch on the sight a bit but don't think it's repairable - I've purchased a NOS mk1 micrometer sight which will be great once installed.