• 1945 Enfield No.4 Mk1*(T) Long Branch Sniper Rifle

    1945 Enfield No.4 Mk1*(T) Long Branch Sniper Rifle
    (Mfg by Long Branch Arsenal, Leaside, Ontario, Canada)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)


    Calibre: ....................... .303 in.
    Rifling & Twist: ............. 5 Groove, Enfield, Left Hand
    Barrel Length: .............. 25.2 in. (640mm)
    Overall Length: ............ 44.5 in. (1130mm)
    Weight: ....................... 11 lb. 10 oz. (5.3kg)
    Magazine Capacity: ...... 10 rounds
    Converted: .................. Long Branch
    Scope: ......................... No.32 Mk.3 Scope #COS2039A Mfg by R.E.L (Research Enterprises Ltd.), Leaside Ontario, Canada
    Qty Mfg: ...................... 992 (Accepted Production from 1941-45 by Department of Munitions and Supply)
    Note: .......................... 1141 (Calculated total mfg estimates as of Dec 31/1945 in Laidler/Skennerton publications)

    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

    Canadian Market Value Estimate: $


    1945 Enfield No.4 Mk1*(T) Long Branch Sniper Rifle
    This item has been reviewed by members of the Milsurps Advisory Panel.This item has been judged by members of the Milsurps Advisory Panel, to be authentic by original manufacturer, with all correct markings and components.
    (160 picture virtual tour)

    Observations:
    Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member ~Angel~.


    Check for "Maltese Cross" indicating non-standard parts on underside of forestock and possibly on rear of Mk1 modified sight. Long Branch scope mount is unique with rifle serial number and "C" Broad Arrow markings present on left side, plus distinct round dimples in center of both scope mounting wheels. Check for presence of matching scope serial number stamped on top of stock wrist behind cocking piece. Check for "C" Broad Arrow marks on scope mounting "pads".

    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. Excellent general article titled “Is my Lee Enfield sniper rifle a fake?” (click here) by a one of our members, Terry "maple_leaf_eh" Warner.

    2. Feedback provided by Advisory Panel member "Lee Enfield", with updated information as to quantity manufactured, using data from Clive Law's book.

    71 mfg up to Dec 31, 1943
    1141 Jan 1 1944 to Dec 31 1945 (Note: Skennerton lists approximately 99 [of 350] No32TPs as being set up during early 1945) 376 mfg by Canadian Arsenals Ltd 1946 (Note: Most or all being C.No.32 Mk3 scopes)

    1588 total manufacture

    Note: Only 1,524 scopes are recorded as having been produced & purchased by R.E.L. & DND respectively.

    Law's conclusions are that the REL No.32 MkI, IA & II scopes are numbered CONSECUTIVELY, while the C.No.67 (No.32 MkIV), C.No.32 Mk3, and No.32TP run in their own sequences. Having said that, MkI, IA & II serials show limited (and unexplained) overlap (probably like a late numbered receiver with earlier features).

    Laidler's original conclusion was that all serials had their own ranges, but I have been assured (by Law) that Laidler has since changed his mind to reflect Law's evidence.
    ....... Feedback by Advisory Panel Member "Lee Enfield".


    Source: Without Warning - 20th Century Sniper Equipment of the Canadian Army, by Clive M. Law (2004), ISBN: 1-894581-16-4


    3. Skennerton is unfortunately incorrect about the location of REL. REL was based at Leaside, Ontario (suburb of Toronto). This info is also contained in Law's "W/O Warning". I had to learn this the hard way via arguing with a friend who collects binoculars & was very embarrassed when I had to admit my error after he sent me reference material (and those binoc guys never forget) ....... Feedback by Advisory Panel Member "Lee Enfield".


    4. If you are a serious collector and paying top dollar for a Long Branch sniper rifle as a collectible piece and it's being sold complete with it's transit "CHEST.S.A.No.15.MK.1", then ensure it's the original Canadian version, not the British "CHEST.S.A.No.15.MK.1". ....... Feedback by "Badger".


    "REAR VIEW" - Canadian built "CHEST.S.A.No.15.MK.1" transit case for No.4(T) Long Branch sniper rifle.

    Differs from standard British No.15 transit chest. The Canadian version uses stitched leather carry handles versus double folded ones, plus it has hinge sets with 4 screws instead of 3. (refer to picture virtual tour above for more detail)



    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    "REAR VIEW" - Typical British built "CHEST.S.A.No.15.MK.1" transit case for No.4(T) sniper rifle.

    Note the double folded leather carry handles, plus it has hinge sets with 3 screws instead of 4 in the Canadian version for the Long Branch sniper rifle. (refer to picture virtual tour above for more detail)


    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    5. Canadian No.15 chests will have the initials HCF stamped on the edge of the bottom at one end. This is HILL CLARK FRANCIS of New Liskeard, Ontario. The company still has an office there but unfortunately all the pieces that were still in the warehouse went to the dump in the early 70's. They also made the cases for the Browning AC Mk. II and Mk. II* machine gun, and the Bren. They also made several other arms and munitions shipping cases. I'm just now getting time to get into the records for a complete listing of all the wooden cases they made during WW II. ....... Feedback by "wheaty".


    6. For collectors, it should be noted that the carrying case for the No.32 REL scope for the Long Branch No.4(T) sniper rifle, unlike it's British counterpart for their No.4(T) sniper rifle, was NOT marked with the serial number of the corresponding rifle. (refer to picture virtual tour above for more detail) ....... Feedback by "Badger".

    Carrying Case for REL No.32 Mk 3 Scope used on Long Branch No.4(T) sniper rifle.

    Markings:
    CASE.SGT.TEL.C No.8 Mk 2
    C.O.S. 2578A
    REL/CANADA


    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    7. (PAC photos 141722 and 141723 (Ken Bell)) .... "Sergeant Harold A. Marshall was the sergeant of the scout platoon of The Calgary Highlanders. He was a sniper, trained and equipped to kill at long range. Marshall carries a SMLE no. 4 Mk 1 (T) rifle fitted with a sniper scope. He wears a 'Denison smock,' designed for use by paratroops, but adopted by snipers because of its camouflage pattern. Over his head the sergeant wears his green and brown mesh face veil. Marshall was wounded on December 15th 1944." ....... Feedback by "Badger".

    Sergeant Harold A. Marshall, The Calgary Highlanders, Belgium, 6 October 1944.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Canadian Scout and Sniper Platoon (click here)

    8. Good day. I read your article on the Canadian CNo7 rifle and noted a not often known fact that lead to a mistake in your information about the No7 rifle. You stated that the CNo7 rifles were equipped with the T sniper sling swivel and that some of the canvas cover loops maybe broken off due to over turning the loop. The fact is --that many people do not know--and I am not belittling you or your well presented article/post. But forward it on in the interest of furthering our Enfield knowledge.

    Firstly-- the No4T sniper sling swivel was equipped with a longer shaft on the swivel itself that allowed full rotation of the swivel itself without catching on the cover loop.

    Secondly-- the later target swivels from Parker Hale had a shorter attaching stud shaft and therefore would not be able to swivel on the mounting shaft/stud, without catching the cover loop.

    For this reason it is a small issue but one can assess the originality of at least one item on a No4T, if the sling swivel clears the loop we have an original sniper swivel. If it does not, move on and check all other items on the sniper to assess whether or not the claim that may have been made that the rifle is original. One piece not an original piece of equipment to the T rifles does not mean that the rest of the rifle will not be but it raises the question of whether or not a certain rifle was assembled from parts due to the value of these rifles now-a-days or whether it is an all original rifle. So many people do not know this little detail. They advertise their T rifle as all original when in fact the rifle was a bitster or a restoration from a sported sniper.

    I do not know however whether the Canadian CNo7 rifles came with the original (high) sniper swivel, or whether they were equipped with the PH target swivel. It is possible that people think the No7's came with the T swivel when in fact they did originally come with the NONE --T-- swivel manufactured by Parker Hale, with the shorter target swivel shaft.
    .............. Feedback by "terryinvictoria"



    9. With reference to terryinvictoria's comments, his feedback mostly concerns the design of "original" T sniper target swivels. I would counter by pointing out that on checking the Canadian ordnance parts list, both the Canadian No.4(T) sniper rifle and the Cno7 .22 rifle share the same sling swivel. The NSN is 1005-21-103-1202, and the reference number is DD(E)3699. While I am not in a position to argue with or against Terry's points with reference to the sling swivels used on British rifles, as I have only had a half dozen or so of these on which to compare, I would suggest that in Canadian service, the swivel is the same, and that on both the rifle types in question, the swivel is identical. .............. Feedback by "stencollector"


    10. In reference to terryinvictoria's feedback, here's an example of a No.4(T) sling swivel with British government "Broad Arrow" acceptance markings. The sling swivel pictured below does not rotate 360 degrees.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Interestingly enough, it's the original one that came installed on the 1944 Enfield No.4 Mk1(T) Sniper Rifle (click here) from Captain Peter Mason's "4 Commando" unit that is featured in the England - Milsurp Knowledge Library (click here).

    In addition, the target sling swivel on the 1944 C No.7 .22 Caliber Lee-Enfield Training Rifle (click here) , featured in the Canada - Milsurp Knowledge Library (click here), also does not rotate 360 degrees, as shown in the pics of it below.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    This information got me curious, so I went on a hunting expedition through ~Angel~'s Enfield collection and dug out ten (10) No.4(T) sniper rifles, all dating between 1944 and 1945, which included a Canadian Long Branch. Only one (1) was equipped with a target sling swivel that rotated 360 degrees. As shown in the pics below, it also happens to be the only one that's marked "Parker Hale - Made on England" and it has no British government "Broad Arrow" acceptance markings at all.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)


    My Conclusions?

    Well, I have to say that the follow up research I've done on the sampling of ten No.4(T)'s and three (3) C No.7 .22 training rifles, seems to support stencollector's original conclusions in his article above, where he stated "Lastly, a target swivel, the same as that installed on a “T” sniper rifle, was installed just forward of the magazine on the king screw. An interesting anomaly of the target swivel is that many Cno7s can be found with the small action cover attaching loop, located between the magazine and the target swivel, missing. They are likely broken off by the rotation of the target swivel.

    We'd be interested in hearing from anyone else with empirical data who could shed some more light on this.
    .............. Feedback by "Badger"


    11. I was just reading this Knowledge Library entry page and I came across the "feedback" by "terryinvictoria" about the king screw sling swivel. Sadly he is incorrect. The only swivels which clear the action cover loop are aftermarket produced, ala "Parker Hale".

    I do have some military issue swivels which clear the loop, but they are specifically for the Australian HT. These were a straight copy (or unmarked variant) of the common swivel used in Australia on their "range rifles" pre-WWII, and subsequently militarized during the war.

    I obtained my samples from "Vulch" on the old Gun & Knife and Gunboards forums. I'm sure "terryinvictoria" also obtained a sample from the same source, and ascribed it's features to all military swivels. In the Ts & No7s (5) immediately to hand none have swivels which clear the loop.

    Strangely enough, Peter Laidler addressed this exact subject in relation to the No4T and L42 on the OLD Jouster forums.
    .............. Feedback by "Lee Enfield"


    Posted By: Peter Laidler
    Date: Wed 20 Feb 2008 12:25 pm

    Thread titled “sniper rifle warning................”

    I notice that the rifle referred to here and others that I've seen/noticed have a fake/post war/commercial trigger guard sling swivel. How do you tell one of these from the real thing? Simple. The Military issue sling swivel, B1/CR-540, WILL FOUL the steel loop at the front of the trigger guard. Read that again. It WILL FOUL the loop at 180 degrees of rotation either way. The reason is to prevent the sling loop and sling rotating and getting itself into a twist.

    The post war commercial item that fakers use is slightly longer and will just clear the small wire loop. This allows it and therefore the sling to rotate through 360 degrees. The sling can and will twist. So be advised of this very small point. If this small point isn't right, ask yourself WHY. It left military service with the right one........... That's if it is a true No4T or L42!

    Remember. Real McCoy, WILL foul the wire loop. A post war commercial will NOT and will rotate through 360 degrees

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Posted by: Peter Laidler
    Date: Sun 1 Feb 2009 5:03 am

    Being anal about the swivel.....

    On the subject of the swivel, it's not meant to replace anything. It is in ADDITION to. The snipers were (and are) taught to use the different variables of sling and sling positions and the choice is left to them. Some ignore the SWIVEL, sling, triger guard and some used it but it was their choice.

    The real McCoy were phosphated and painted and didn't always carry a makers mark. Those early wartime ones from H&H had a tiny S51 mark on the screwdriver slot end while some presumably later ones didn't carry a mark while other from BSA, for the No8 rifle, did carry the M47 mark, as did the Faz for their No8 production

    Don't forget that there were TWO sorts. The COMMERCIAL one had a longer thicker part of the shaft that would enable the loop part to clear the little loop on the trigger guard while the UK MoD spec one had a deliberately short shaft that would stop at the loop and prevent the sling twisting.

    If you have a LONG one, it belongs to a commercial target rifle. You can shorten the long thick part shaft on a lathe to make a good replica but you'll have to shorten the screwed part and recut the thread. If I remember, it's a 1/4" BSF but check first.................... Or one day I'll tell you about restoring nmy Mini and cutting 26TPI BSF threads when what I REALLY wanted was 28 TPI UNF. Well, it's an easy mistake to make!

    12. All the No4T rifles were slowly modified with the front trigger guard swivel as a result of snipers being taught to use the single point sling method as an alternative to the well established top and bottom sling loop method. In wartime, a rifle could go for years without going to an Armourers shop or even being noticed, especially if the sniper didn't know or didn't use the front trigger guard sling swivel. So both with or without are correct. The same goes for cheek rests on the earliest No4T's. With or without are both correct.

    I suppose that if you had an original rifle, straight from the battlefield in Italy, fitted with a long Bren webbing sling (which was well liked, taught and used more often than not....) then THAT would be original too.

    But, be warned, there are two sorts of front trigger guard swivel. The VAOS part (that's the Army spec one) has a short shank that will not allow the swivel to rotate a full circle as it get stopped by the cover loop on the trigger guard. The commercial sling loops have a longer shank that clears the loop.

    As for the cover loop on the trigger guard, then while I insisted that they were present, other armourers, some senior and some junior, said that it was academic and didn't mind either way............... The reason for NOT replacing them was that a change of trigger guard meant that you had to spend the next couple of hours re-setting up the trigger pull-offs! Some say that about 50 percent of the L42's disposed of didn't have the loop. .......
    (Feedback by "Peter Laidler")




    13. I was looking over this Knowledge Library entry of for the No.4(T) Long Branch sniper and noticed my rear sight is slightly different than the markings of the one in the photo montage. Mine lacks the Canadian mark but does have the Maltese Cross. My trigger guard is also Savage but the rear sling swivel is not Savage as they did not make that style of sling swivel. It is pure Long Branch. .......... (Feedback by "Lance")

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Lance's No.4(T) LB rear sight ..................... This No.4(T) MKL entry rear sight



    14. Here’s a pic of the rear sling swivel Lance refers to in note #12. At the time of creating this photo montage, we weren't sure if the "S" looking mark was Savage or not. Based upon Lance's comments, it would seem it is NOT, but what the mark stands for is hard to discern. .......... (Feedback by "Badger")


    "S" = Savage Inspection Mark on rear sling swivel?
    (Font looks different than normal Savage square "S")



    15. Here is a pic of a typical packing case tag used on a No.32 Mk.3 Scope R.E.L. Telescope found with a No.4(T) Long Branch sniper rifle. These are the tags that an armourer placed on the scope packing case, upon completion of their long term storage preparation process. Note that the serial number on the packing case for this No.32 Mk.3 R.E.L. Scope is 153-C for rifle 90L8195, whereas the example of the scope shown in our Knowledge Library entry is very close, being 174-C for rifle 90L8161............... Feedback by "Lance"




    16. Here’s some background on 1945 serial numbers, which can be kind of confusing, because they often seem to overlap 1944 and 1949 dated receivers.

    This is explained by a few known facts:

    1. Serials were (according to workers at INGLIS & LB) assigned after the rifles were completed, so there would have been 1944 & 1945 dated receivers mixed in the bucket & on the assemby line for a while.

    2. There were spare "replacement" receivers manufactured. Some of these were final date stamped, others were finished and marked with "194_" they had the final date digit hand stamped in. These were receivers which were completed for future use but not assembled c. late '45-46. This is also especially apparent in early production 1949 dated LBs. Spare/replacement actions produced in 1950 after the @50,000 which were assembled in 1950-51 also show this feature. Occasionally they are seen dated 1953-56 with much earlier serial numbers (these are replacement actions assembed with salvageable parts from the serial donor gun). This is also true of the 1945 dated receivers. They were unserialed until assembly. We know this because in the fairly recent past these actions were "commonly available".

    3. The Long Branch sniper serial "blocks" can't be construed as meaning anything date wise as the blocks were assigned to be outside of the normal production serial ranges. Note: Per research by Clive Law.

    4. The only way to be "sure" of production date is to look at the "breeching date" on the barrel knox form reinforce. I'm not sure how this would have worked on a replacement receiver with a salvaged barrel. .......
    (Feedback by Advisory Panel Member "Lee Enfield")

    17. Martin Pegler talks about British sniper rifles on Guns and Ammo ...... (Feedback by "Badger")




    18. The Lee Enfield by Ian Skennerton (2007) - ISBN: 9780949749826 is an excellent general reference book on the evolution of Lee-Enfield rifles, however, it doesn't go into great detail on their use as sniper rifles. Ian Skennerton published an earlier 266 page work in 1983 called The British Sniper (British & Commonwealth Sniping & Equipments 1915-1983) - ISBN 0 949749 03 6. For anyone wanting a lot more detail research with pictures covering the evolution of sniping, this is an excellent supplement to his later work. It is out of print, so I'd suggest you use a "Google" search on the title to see if you can find a copy from one of the rare used book sources on the Internet. I found my copy on eBay. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)


    19. The secret to creating and maintaining quality research data in the Milsurps Knowledge Library is you! This is your site and these MKL entries on various old milsurps are yours to add to, or change. The volunteers on the Advisory Panel (click here) can only do so much to vet and validate the information posted here, so please contribute as much as possible to help us present the most accurate and reliable data we can gather on these old milsurps. If you own a particular specimen of any MKL entry, then please send us pics of it, even though they may be duplicate views of pieces you already see here. In that way, we can build up multiple sets of pics for several milsurps of the same model, which will help in indentifying markings and authenticity. For example, in the case of this MKL entry of the 1945 Enfield No.4 Mk1*(T) Long Branch Sniper Rifle, if you own one, we'd like to receive more pics of the stampings and serial number views as shown in the "Observations" section and various "Collector's Comments and Feedback" notes. ALL pics and information received will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and respect of your privacy. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, which is helping to make the Milsurps Collectors Forums a prominent site for serious collectors of all genres of old milsurp collectibles. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 1945 Enfield No.4 Mk1*(T) Long Branch Sniper Rifle started by Badger View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. boltaction's Avatar
      Assuming between 990 and 1500 LB snipers were produced, does anyone know how many were in the 90L serial range, or were all of them? Also, what percentage of the 1945 dated ones were sent to England, and how many were retained in Canada?

      Thx

      Ed
      Information
      Warning: This is a relatively older thread
      This discussion is older than 360 days. Some information contained in it may no longer be current.
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