As he knew I was looking for one Mike Priest had one of the live guns he had got from New Zealand chopped for me. I could have got the wrong end of the stick but I.m pretty sure he said New Zealand.
The body is a standard Enfield done Mk 3 with the original "BREN Mk 3" struck out and with "GUN M/G 7.62 mm L4A4" above and "MG 43GA" below. Behind the sight is UE 73 over and A19775 below UE55 A326 which is struck through. There's a profusion of marks near the barrel nut on the left and 79 arrow H followed by a large 72 on the right.
The butt slide is also a Mk 3 and has UE 73 A 19775 along side the selector switch. Behind the pistol grip is a Z and arrow
The barrel is marked CF 7.62mm A19775 a Enfield D mark 72 MG 5526 On the top of the barrel is FB351. No markings have been removed or struck out although there aresome are very hard to read small ones.
The barrel nut is rather worn and has A19775 in electric pencil.
Since he didn't want to chop a perfectly good 7.62 block Mike chopped a bog standard .303 and put that in. Irronicaly I did once have a brand new 7.62 block held for me in NZ but the amount of hassle it would have took to get it fitted put me off doing anything about it.
I'd actually prefare for it to be UK issue as it would fit in the collection better but unless he meant it came from a dealer in NZ I've always assumed it was one of their service guns. It came over in 2004.
It could really do with a full cosmetic refurb as its showing it's use. To that end I've collected all the parts you can legally replace in the uk all shiny new, woodwork, sights, mag well cover, screws and nuts. Just need someone to do the hard bits!
Can do pics if anyone's interested.
Last edited by tombear; 07-20-2012 at 11:00 AM.
Thank You to tombear For This Useful Post:
07-20-2012 10:51 AM
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Just strip it, bead blast it and put it in the hot phosphate tank. (there will be a sheet metal fabrication place somewhere local) Paint it with satin black exhaust paint and put it in the oven at 200+ degrees for a couple of hours and it'll come out like new. Thereafter, you're not going to use and abuse it like an Army gun anyway.
Thinking back, I don't think I saw L4's in NZ as the LMG's were were using at the time were .303" Brens and L2A1's. On ops of course, we all had L4's. The Australian supplied L2, 30 round rifle magazines seemed to work in our L4 Brens OK
Well that sounds doable as they say, apart from with the barrel pinned on fitting it in the oven isn't a runner unless I get a job at the pizza parlour....
Somewhere I still have that can of suncronite a certain party once sent me.
I also have that 1945 matching serials Mk 3 to do as well, oops.
New Zealand certainly had quite a few L4's and they were in service with the Territorials well into the 1990's but were dropped by the Regulars in the '80's. Most were exported but a small number were given to the Army museum who kept two or three for themselves and sold the reamining six or seven to local collectors. My one was the last one they had for sale. They were all Enfield converted L4A4's. All of the new spares that I have seen for them have also been Enfield rather than Aussie parts.
Yup, all the parts on mine are straight Enfield made one. Are their any specific to NZ marks I should be looking for?
I vaguely remember something about where the serial ison the butt slide? I may be dreaming that one....
We did start putting the serial number of the gun on the left side of the butt slide but this could only be engraved and NOT stamped there as it was a bit thin and could/would distort. I was involved in the investigation to impliment this change. It was because some workshops didn't have the old original deep engraving machine to engrave the rear of the butt slide by the rear buffer and in any case, the buffer tube part was problematical and obstructed the rotary cutter ......... anyway.....
Stamping the number in the original position also caused problems especially with used but reconditioned butt slides because the old original number might have been filed off several times and the material made thinner. There was a school of thought that there wasn't even a real reason for the butt slide to be numbered! The butt slides fitted and worked/functioned or they didn't. There were no real diamensional or operation problems. Anyway, we decided that it could go on the butt slide. This was in the late70's and if you look at the miscellaneous instructions you will see my initials as part of the drawing reference.
I only saw NZ L4's on operations but while in NZ we had 303 guns. I don't remember L4's in the big Ordnance Depot at the NDOD either but this was in the 60's and those on ops had no specific NZ marks, nor did our L4's with the Battalions although I can only speak for 8 and 4 RAR. But in my opinion, the L4 was the best variation of the magnificent beast....... without doubt!
Thanks for that Peter!
Here's the butt slide engraving on mine,
Sorry it took so long to reply, been preoccupied with my silly little balsa and tissue planes!
That's the place............ Another reason was that the butt slide could easily be salvaged and re-used by simply barring out the old number and there was plenty of space to re-number new.
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The NZ guns came from a specific contract with Enfield.The remaining guns I know of are listed here.
Its also possible that Aus also had a contract with Enfield for L4s too,
Australia did have L4 guns but these were before the UE73A time as we had them in the 60's. I understand that eventually Oz purchased over 1000 new build (on ex Mk3 bodies of course) L4A4's plus the stocks she acquired when the Poms pulled out of Malaya. NZ also had some at the same time although in my time there we had .303" Mk1's and 2's
When I was making a few 'semi-official' enquiries about NZ Brens, it transpired that NZ acquired some Aust L4's in the mid-late mid 70's when Aust was reducing the size of the Infantry after SV-N and national service and the M60 was going out in favour of the L7.
Last edited by Peter Laidler; 09-15-2012 at 12:09 PM.